Drug that can increase survival among acute myeloid leukemia patients identified, says study

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December 25, 2020 1:58 PM

AML is a type of blood cancer and is the most acute one among adults.

acute myeloid leukemia potential drugThe study had been conducted at 148 sites in 23 countries, and it looked at 472 patients. (Image: IE)

Leukemia: New study finds drug to increase survival among acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients by 30%! In a recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and accessed by Financial Express Online, the research team conducted global clinical Phase 3 trials across 23 countries for a drug called CC-486. The global trials were headed by Monash University’s Professor Andrew Wei and his team found that the drug was able to significantly improve survival among patients aged over 55 years.

AML explained

AML is a type of blood cancer and is the most acute one among adults. As the age of the patients increase, the incidence of AML increases while prognosis becomes poor. The currently available treatments for AML need to undergo a lot of improvement since most of the older patients diagnosed with AML usually die within two years of diagnosis. In the US alone, as many as 20,000 are found to be suffering from AML every year.

Also read | Researchers identify potential new class of drugs to treat blood and bone marrow cancers

Study details

Wei said that his team focused his study solely on people above the age of 55 years suffering from AML because according to him, there was a need to look at new agents that can possibly improve the outcomes among patients after they have completed the chemotherapy. He added that the risk of relapse of the AML is high after the completion of intensive chemotherapy. On the other hand, several older patients cannot undergo a stem cell transplantation, which makes a less risky option which can prevent the relapse more desirable. That way, the healthcare workers would not have to wait and monitor disease recurrence.

He also expressed his excitement at the possibility that a “relatively well-tolerated” tablet can help in reducing the risk of relapse and thereby improve survival among the patients.

The study had been conducted at 148 sites in 23 countries, and it looked at 472 patients, the average age of whom was 68 years. The trial was placebo-controlled, and it found that patients who were administered the drug had an average survival from remission of almost 25 months, while those receiving placebo had average survival of almost 15 months.

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